Friday, October 11, 2013

Visit us at the NACS Show in Atlanta and see some tank inspection videos you won’t want to miss

Be sure to stop by and see us at the PEI at the NACS Show in Atlanta, starting Sunday.

You’ll find us in Booth #4622 in the Fuel Equipment & Services Section.

On display, we will have a new video, with the same clips our Vice President of R&D Brad Hoffman just presented at the National Tanks Conference last month in Denver. The clips exhibit the exceptional insights provided by our TankCam and PetroScope Video Inspection Services – with a series of high-definition clips showing some astonishing details of the condition inside several USTs we’ve inspected. You won’t want to miss seeing this.

If you didn’t see these clips in Brad’s presentation at the National Tanks Conference, don’t miss this second chance. If you did see them, you need to see them in the high definition clarity provided by these technologies.

While you’re visiting, be sure to sign up to win an iPad. We will be giving one away again this year to a lucky winner who stops by to visit and enters the drawing.

We hope to see you in Atlanta!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Aging tank population in Arizona makes headlines; But is the focus on age the right focus?

Beneath the ground at more than half of the gas stations in the State of Arizona, sit “old, rotting and potentially leaking fuel storage tanks,” according to a recent CBS-5 TV 5-Investigates report.

Quoting an audit performed by the state Auditor General’s Office, the Phoenix CBS-TV affiliate reports that nearly 1,000 USTs in the state are older than their expected 30-year lifespan and nearly 3,000 are approaching it within the next decade.

Click here to watch the CBS-5 Segment
Steve Brittle, the President of Arizona-based environmental advocacy group, “Don’t Waste Arizona,” says in the story that these thousands of tanks are at, or on the verge of, the end of their 30-year life expectancy. Generally, Brittle says, the tanks “need to be replaced at that point.”

“In our experience, that’s definitely not a given,” said Allen Porter, President and CEO of Tanknology.

“We have a lot of customers across the country with tanks in this age range. Most of them are wrestling with how and when to upgrade and replace tanks as they approach the 25-year mark. There are a number of factors that influence how a tank degrades over the years and age is just one of them.”

Porter said the company has seen many tanks in the 25- to 30-year age range that are in just fine condition.  “We’ve also seen tanks half that age that are in worse condition. It’s very site and situation specific.”
Still photo capture from actual TankCam video

In response to the growing need to understand the condition of aging tanks, Tanknology worked with several large nationwide service station operators in the development of its TankCam® Remote Tank Inspection system. The TankCam service involves putting a high resolution, lighted camera inside the tank, providing the ability to closely survey the conditions so that an operator can understand what’s happening inside the tank and then prioritize upgrade programs.

“Obviously operators want to focus their upgrade plans on the tanks in the poorest condition,” Porter said. “Our TankCam service provides them a very economical way to get a good clear look at what’s going on in that tank so that they can make informed decisions. In many cases, they are learning that just because a tank is 25-years old, it’s not necessarily in need of replacement. That allows them to turn their attention elsewhere, to the tanks which we help them see are at a higher risk of leaking.”

Tanknology’s TankCam® Remote Inspection service is available nationwide.  Inspections are quick and tanks typically do not have to be taken out of service during the process. More information and examples of actual video from inside a tank can be found on our website.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Don't miss Tanknology's Brad Hoffman in his presentation at the National Tanks Conference next week in Denver

Next week at the National Tanks Conference in Denver, Brad Hoffman, Tanknology’s Vice President of Engineering and R&D, will provide a presentation and participate in a panel discussion on UST management and compatibility related issues. It’s a session any tank operator won’t want to miss.

According to Brad, his focus in this session will be on helping operators with the management, maintenance and evolving compatibility issues in their aging tank population.

“Many operators upgraded tank sites to conform with the initial EPA regulations in the late 80s,” he said. “Many of those tanks have been in the ground for around 25 years now – or more. As they look to evaluate their condition, and prioritize replacement programs, many are struggling with how best to do that.”

“Age is the most obvious basis for that prioritization,” he said. “But that’s not necessarily the most prudent approach.”

Brad will address in this session how to prioritize tank management and replacement programs based on actual need, rather than simply age.

“In our experience, operators could be spending their upgrade dollars most effectively by understanding the actual conditions of those tanks and prioritizing on that basis. Just because a tank is x-years old, doesn’t mean it needs to be addressed earlier than one which is several years younger,” he said. “The specific conditions inside those tanks really matters.”

This very issue is exacerbated by the unusually high level of metal corrosion and tank lining and structural issues that have become a growing problem of late in some aging tank systems.

“These are all factors in managing the risk and best practices of a tank population,” Brad said. “We’ll do our best to tackle these issues in our session and address what operators can do to understand specific tank conditions before automatically looking at replacement.”

The session is titled, Out of Sight, Out of Mind: How to Evaluate UST Usefulness, Management and Compatibility, and will take place in the Sheraton Denver Downtown Plaza Ballroom E on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 8:00 to 9:30 AM.

Brad will be also be available for individual conversations at Tanknology’s booth in the exhibitor area – Booth 300 – on and off throughout the conference.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

SP001 Inspections for ASTs: What you need to know

If your organization operates shop-fabricated or field-erected aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), you’re likely at least somewhat aware of the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) requirements for regular inspections of these tanks. If you have ASTs that are required to conform to these regulations, there is an article in this quarter’s edition of the PEI Journal that you should read.

Titled, Integrity Testing Shop-Fabricated Aboveground Storage Tanks, the article by Alex Ralston, POE, provides an excellent summary of the inspection requirements and procedures required by STI SP001, which is the Standard for the Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks.

The SP001 standard applies to portable containers, shop-fabricated tanks and field-erected tanks up a maximum shell height of 50 feet, and a maximum diameter of 30 feet. In the article, Ralston summarizes the essential elements of this standard: 
"The STI SP001 standard is not a tightness test similar to those performed on underground tanks. The standard measures construction integrity; compliance with fire codes, building codes, industry standards and OSHA standards; and the integrity of the thickness of the metal tank shell as compared to the original tank shell thickness. That last requirement is essential. The shell thickness determines the suitability of the tank for continued service – specifically, whether the tank should continue in service or be taken out of service for repair or replacement. The inspection also sets the date of the next formal inspection."
The article goes on to include a detailed summary of what a certified inspector looks for in a SP001 inspection. It’s an excellent read if this is an area of concern for your fueling operation.

Tanknology provides SP001 inspections and testing. If you would like to set up an inspection program, review your existing approach, or learn more about our AST related services, email us at or call us at 1-800-964-1250.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Update on research targeting corrosion in ULSD systems

A significant topic in the petroleum storage and dispensing world in recent years has been the extreme rate of corrosion being experienced in some UST systems containing ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). As early as 2008, this phenomenon was observed and by 2011 major industry organizations were in high gear in search of answers.

These organizations, which form the Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance (CDFA), awarded to the Battelle Memorial Institute with the support of Tanknology a research project intended to gain an understanding of what is causing the corrosion so that they might create a solution.

Battelle and Tanknology have now completed this initial project and the detailed findings are being reported in the current issue of the PEI Journal.

As a result of the sampling and analysis program in this study, the ultimate hypothesis was that the corrosion is likely due to the dispersal of acetic acid through the USTs.  This acid is likely produced by Acetobacter bacteria feeding on low levels of ethanol contamination. Dispersed into the humid vapor space and by disturbances during fuel deliveries, the acetic acid is deposited throughout the system. This results in a cycle of wetting and drying of the equipment, concentrating the acetic acid on the metal equipment and corroding it severely and rapidly. (The fill riser and STP photos to the right illustrate the severity of ULSD corrosion.)

But where is the ethanol contamination coming from? Initial study points to two possibilities: From switch loading or from a gasoline tank ventilation system that is manifolded with the diesel tank.

While this initial project provided an important step in possibly identifying the root cause of this rapid rate of corrosion, it did not provide enough certainty to justify changing the ULSD fuel distribution system.

The CDFA task force is now pursuing a next-level research project. In this advanced project, the hypothesis of the initial research will be further studied in order to prove or disprove it, as well as to provide a basis for alternative hypotheses if necessary and to identify the leading factors promoting the corrosive environment of ULSD systems.

According to Brad Hoffman, Tanknology’s lead scientist on the initial study, there is a clear sense of urgency in the work of the task force. “Corrosion at this rate of speed is very concerning,” Hoffman said. “So everyone is very anxious to understand why it’s happening and what needs to be done to stop it. At this point, we have what appear to be strong indications of what’s going on, but those need to be proven out so that corrective measures can be designed to mitigate this problem.”

So what can be done to minimize the potential for such corrosion in the meantime? According to Hoffman, “Until the absolute cause and a cure are identified, we recommend that operators keep their tank bottoms as absolutely free of water as possible. This is an important practice for any tank, but is particularly true of diesel tanks. Water is the enemy of fuel – especially diesel – in a UST.”

Friday, April 12, 2013

See us at M-PACT in Indianapolis and learn about TankCam, our newest service

If you plan to attend the M-Pact show in Indianapolis April 17 & 18, stop by and visit us at Booth # 636.

We'd love to tell you about our newest inspection service. Announced just two weeks ago, TankCam is a remote video system that provides a very cost effective way to get a thorough look inside your USTs.

If you have concerns about potential blistering, delamination or other structural issues, need to locate an unused riser in a tank, verify your overfill protection, or simply want to determine the cleanliness of your tanks, TankCam is the ideal solution. Never before has such a clear view inside a tank been so economical.

You can learn more about it, including actual video clips, here on our website, or in this press release.

We hope to see you in Indianapolis! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Visit us in Las Vegas at WPMA, Feb. 19-21

If you get to Las Vegas for the Western Petroleum Marketers Association (WPMA) National Convention and Convenience Store Expo on Feb. 19 through 21, please be sure to stop and see us at the expo in the Mirage Hotel -- Booth #900.

We have an exciting new service we will be previewing at the show. (More details will be announced later this month.)

Also, we are celebrating our 25th year in business throughout 2013, so if you stop by our booth be sure to ask for a gift commemorating our milestone.

We hope to see you in Vegas!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mansfield named 2012 Master Alliance Partner of the Year

Mansfield Energy/Fuel Systems & Services group has been honored as Tanknology's Master Alliance Partner (MAP) of the year for 2012.

At a dinner in Alpharetta, GA on Friday evening, Jan. 18, 2013, Mansfield executives (L to R in photo) Paul Martin, Manager of Fuel Systems & Services and Chet Davis, Vice President of Energy Systems Solutions, were presented a plaque commemorating the accomplishment by Tanknology Executive Vice President of Sales, Richard Schnabel.

“Mansfield was our top-producing partner in 2012 in the Master Alliance Program,” Schnabel said. “Their team of sales professionals around the country did an excellent job of matching our industry-leading compliance solutions with the needs of their conscientious and quality-oriented clients. By partnering with Mansfield in this area, we together bring their customers the services and expertise to ensure environmental compliance and system integrity in their fueling facilities.”

Tanknology’s MAP program consists of elite petroleum equipment distributors, contractors and independent oil companies who partner with the company in a joint-marketing program to provide their customers with access to Tanknology’s full-range of UST testing and compliance services. The program is designed for those companies who wish to expand their service offering by providing key additional services and site compliance assurance in a program of greater value to their existing clients.

A subsidiary of Mansfield Energy Corp., the Mansfield Energy/Fuel Systems & Services group provides end-to-end solutions to fuel customers in commercial and industrial sectors. This includes fuel procurement and management, billing, reporting, safety and environmental monitoring, equipment sales, repair and maintenance.